Hollow World

Hollow World by Nick Pobursky Read Free Book Online

Book: Hollow World by Nick Pobursky Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nick Pobursky
Tags: Suspense & Thrillers
leaned back in his chair and allowed himself a small chuckle at the boy’s expense. How could he waste such a valuable asset by eliminating young Jeremy? The boy did his job well enough. Jeremy was afraid of his employer, and this fear kept the other subordinates in line. Should he lose poor Jeremy, he would have to assert his dominance personally over anyone he employed. That would not do—that would not do, at all. The older man was above these petty obligations; occupying his beautiful mind with such tedious tasks would dull his senses and muddle his extremely valuable and profound thoughts. No, Jeremy would survive and play a key role in the events to come.
    Never before had the man known an intellectual equal as that which he found in Detective Charlie Walker. He’d observed the ingenious detective’s methods for many months now and was continually impressed by the results this young man had achieved. Had the older man not been so meticulous and careful in his Detroit endeavors, he had no doubt that young Walker would have discovered his involvement, and the coming battle of the minds would have taken place much sooner. No, the older man was not so easily found. Events that occurred in this life did so on his terms, not those of anyone else.
    Finally, the time for the man to test the detective’s mettle had come. The game was about to begin. The detective’s prize: his family’s lives. The man’s prizes: the glorious death of the promising young detective and the blissful knowledge that there was not a single man left on the planet who could challenge his masterful mind.
    Movement on the monitor had caught his eye, pulling him from his sweet reverie. The time to initiate the next phase of the game had come. Cracking his knuckles and smiling brightly, the man leaned close to his laptop and began tapping keys.

5
     
     
    The darkness was absolute around the Walker family. The air conditioning must have been out of order for quite some time, because the oppressive humidity of the day had remained, leaving the tunnel hot and sticky. When the train had halted in the blackness, Charlie had refused to react. He didn’t lift his head; he simply sat in his seat—staring into the empty void above his head—and waited for the ride to commence.
    Meghan’s cries had almost become too much to bear, Charlie could still hear them over the loud, echoing racket of the roller coaster cars whizzing past unseen. He nearly felt like sobbing himself as whatever his wife was dealing with was beyond his power to fix; he’d never known her like this before. After a few more moments of hysterical sobbing, Meghan began to calm down; her breathing resuming a more natural rhythm until Charlie could no longer hear her at all. Violet and Katie were silent as well and had not reacted to the train’s sudden halt. Charlie wasn’t surprised by their silence, though. The girls had never been afraid of the dark. They’d been on the PeopleMover in years past when the train had stopped in this exact tunnel; Charlie attributed their lack of reaction to this fact.
    After what seemed like hours, but was no more than two or three minutes, the train began its steady forward motion once more through the inky blackness. Charlie closed his eyes, trying to become enraptured again by the sounds and smells of one of his favorite attractions. Serenity began to wash over him for a while, and he enjoyed the cool breeze that he felt as the train exited the tunnel into the night. Charlie decided that now would be as good a time as any to confront Meghan and finally find out what had been bothering her.
    Upon opening his eyes, Charlie nearly fainted from an intense attack of vertigo.
    Meghan and the girls were no longer seated across from him. They had been just feet from him mere minutes ago: Meghan sobbing, Violet and Katie smiling despite their mother’s dark mood. Never had something so heavily disoriented the detective as much as the abrupt vanishing of

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